Enfield, NH – A proposed non-profit group has reached an agreement to reopen and operate Whaleback Ski Area in New Hampshire.
Tucked against I-89 just southeast of Lebanon, Whaleback closed last season saddled with over $1 million in debt accumulated over the past eight seasons of operation by an ownership group that included former U.S. Ski Team freestyler Evan Dybvig. It was last closed from 1990 to 1992. Whaleback was sold at auction to debt holder Randolph National Bank in August.
On Friday the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation (UVSSF), which has applied for non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service, negotiated a lease agreement with Randolph National and plans to purchase the 700 vertical-foot, 85-acre resort outright from the bank by May. The group has set a target of raising $100,000 by Oct. 22, prior to executing the lease agreement on Oct. 25. They hope to sell $85,000 in season passes through their website, www.whaleback.com.
“Like our fellow residents, we recognize the importance of Whaleback as a community asset and started our journey to purchase and operate the mountain,” the group explained in statement.
The UVSSF has said that family friendly, affordable skiing and riding remains their top priority for Whaleback, along with after-school groups, lessons, an adult race league and hosting area clubs. They hope to make improvements to trails, lighting and snowmaking to facilitate these programs. Pre-season equipment maintenance and preparations such as trail cutting are already underway.
The UVSSF hopes to reopen Whaleback on Dec. 26, weather permitting.